Head of an Olympic champion

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Bronze | Patinated | Height 43 cm

http://www.arsmundi.com/

Head of an Olympic champion

Under the watchful eyes of Apollo he fought for victory for himself and his city. The odes on his fame have faded, the laurel is taken off his head, but he will probably become immortalized by Phidias himself, will live: with slightly bowed head - thoughtful, reflecting yet completely present._x000D_

Original: Musée du Louvre, Paris. Attic classic, late 5th century BC._x000D_

Bronze with subtle patination. Height with the plinth 43 cm.

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Minoan culture, Mycenean culture
The Cretan art is also named Minoan art, after the legendary King Minos.

Cretan-Minoan art is the art of Crete from about 2900 - 1600 B.C. (Minoan art) and the Mycenaean art of Crete and the Greek mainland from about 1600 - 1100 B.C., in Crete only to 1200 B.C.

German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann discovered significant remains of this culture in the shaft graves of Mycenae, that had their heyday in the 14th and 13th centuries B.C. A well-preserved testimony is the Lion Gate from the 13th century B.C.

Splendidly decorated vases are the artworks of ceramics that have best survived the turmoil of millennia. Snake Goddess (around 1500 B.C.), a faience figurine, that has been discovered in the Temple Repositories of the Knossos palace are also famous. Bronze vessels of that time were primarily used in household. Daggers, swords and armor were then also made of bronze.

The jewelery of the Cretan-Mycenaean ladies was made of gold, rock crystal, lapis lazuli, ivory, faience and glass.

Geometric culture
The geometric art developed as a continuation of the late Mycenaean art on the Greek mainland towards the end of the late 11th century B.C. Mathematically regulatory will of style entered the geometric art replacing natural Crete-Mycenaean formal language. Another new feature is the use of the ruler and the compass. The jewelry of this time is also based on strict geometric principles.

Archaic culture
The architecture developed from the temples of the 8th and 7th century B.C. Initially, mudbrick and wood were used for building, later the forms were transferred to stone. A monumental style developed in sculpture. Marble, bronze, clay and limestone were used as materials. Gods, heroes, victorious competitors were embodied in typical young nude statues. Gods or sacred figures were portrayed in clothes.

In addition to sculpture there has also developed relief art, which was preferably used for decorating the temple.

The statuettes made of clay and bronze appeared since the 6th century B.C.

Classical culture (5th and 4th century B.C.)
The beginning of the Greek Classical period falls in the stirring times of the great statesman Pericles. Thanks to his democratic politics Athens became the focal point of cultural life and artistic creation in ancient Greece.

The classic architecture refined the shapes and proportions to perfection. The Temple of Zeus at Olympia, the Parthenon on the Acropolis of Athens and other major temples arose.

In sculpture, the time of the Severe style began. The rigid forms of the earlier period were blown up, the human body was studied anatomically. Top performances of the Severe style include the Charioteer of Delphi and the Artemision Bronze, that was recovered from the sea by fishermen.

A further increase brought the High Classical sculpture. Sculptors like Myron, Phidias and Polykleitos created sculptures that affect the statuary art to the present day. (discus thrower, Athena-Marsyas group, the heroes of Riace, etc.)

In the 4th century, a romantic conception prevailed. Praxiteles and Lysippos determined the art of the time. Sculptures such as Hermes and the Infant Dionysus, Pouring Satyr and especially the Aphrodite of Cnidus are magnificent examples of the artistic conception of Classical Greece.

Hellenism
With the conquests of Alexander the Great, the Greek art dominated in the Mediterranean and in the Orient. In the temple construction the Ionic and Corinthian style prevailed.

Lysippos initiated the statuary art of the Hellenistic period. The temples like in Pergamon were richly decorated with statues. The Winged Victory of Samothrace was created at the beginning of the 2nd century B.C. and Venus de Milo – towards the end of the century. The Hellenistic sculpture experienced its endpoint and last increase with Laocoön Group. The painting of the period was determined by Apelles. The Hellenistic painters represented such themes as historical events, portraits and genre paintings.

An alloy of copper with other metals (especially with tin) used since ancient times.

Bronze casting:

When casting bronze, artist usually applies the lost-wax technique which is dating back more than 5000 years. It's the best, but also the most complex method of producing sculptures.

Sculpture "The Book Reader" by Ernst Barlachs is shown here as an example:

Ernst Barlach: Sculpture 'The book reader'

Ernst Barlach 'The Book Reader' - Lost Wax Casting Technique Part 1

First, the artist forms a model of his sculpture. It is embedded in a liquid silicone rubber composition. Once the material has solidified, the model is cut out. The liquid wax is poured in the negative mould. After cooling down, the wax casting is removed from the mould, provided with sprues and dipped into ceramic mass. The ceramic mass is hardened in a kiln, and the wax flows out (lost mould).

Ernst Barlach 'The Book Reader' - Lost Wax Casting Technique Part 2Now we finally have the negative form, into which the 1400 ° C hot molten bronze is poured. After the bronze had cooled down, the ceramic shell is broken off and the sculpture comes to light.

Ernst Barlach 'The Book Reader' - Lost Wax Casting Technique Part 3Now the sprues are removed, the surfaces are polished, patinated and numbered by the artist himself or, to his specifications, by a specialist. Thus, each casting becomes an original work

For lower-grade bronze castings, the sand casting method is often used which, however, does not achieve the results of more complex lost wax technique in terms of surface characteristics and quality.

Related links:
Sand casting

Sculptural representation of person's head and shoulders.

A plastic work of sculptural art made of wood, stone, ivory, bronze or other metals.

While sculptures from wood, ivory or stone are made directly from the block of material, for bronze casting a working model is prepared at first. Usually it is made of clay or other easily shaped materials.

The prime time of sculpture after the Roman antiquity was the Renaissance. Impressionism gave a new impulse to the sculptural arts. Also the contemporary artists, such as Jorg Immendorf, Andora, and Markus Lupertz enriched the sculpture with outstanding works.

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